29 March 2016: Inmarsat-sponsored Team Essence have rowed themselves into the record books – not once but twice.
Exhausted but elated, the five friends reached Macuro, Venezuela on 28 March, 50 days after setting out from Lagos, Portugal to row 3,308 nautical miles non-stop across the Atlantic.
They are the first team to row the Atlantic unsupported from East to West, continent to continent non-stop, and also the first to row unsupported across the Atlantic from mainland Europe to mainland South America.
“We have crossed an ocean using manpower only, via a passage that no vessel our size has ever voyage along before. We are five normal men, five amateurs, all experiencing the same hopes and fears along our journey as anyone following our story would in our situation,” said Oliver Kane, one of the five strong-crew.
“Thanks go to Del Ashley and the team at Inmarsat for allowing such a high degree of communication between us and everyone on land.“
Also Kane added: “Out here it’s really easy to feel easy to feel like we are on our own and isolated…It’s at these times that we realise we may be a tiny boat in a huge ocean but we have the support of the world driving over, for that we are truly grateful.
“Special thanks to Inmarsat who have been without a doubt a key safety service and major supporter in our record attempt.”
The team, who are on target to raise £150,000 for children’s charity the NSPCC, have spent the past seven weeks squeezed into a boat that measures just 8.5 metres (27.8ft) by 1.2 metres (3.9 feet).
They were able to stay safe and connected thanks to Inmarsat. IsatData Pro was used to track and monitor the boat’s progress and send back real-time positional data for a tracking map. Having two IsatPhone 2 satellite phones on board meant they could keep in touch from the middle of the ocean, and call for help if need be.
The challenge pitted the team, four of whom are ex-military, against huge adversity including capsizing three times.
In his final blog, former Royal Marine Jason ‘Foxy’ Fox summarised their adventure at sea as encompassing pain, fear, determination and camaraderie.
“When you embark on anything in life I feel you will encounter and experience all of the above,” he wrote. “You will have to and want to as they make the adventure all the more worth it. Remember, most things worth doing are not easy!”